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Chasing Shadows

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For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can s For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death? Lena's daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy. Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined. The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.


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For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can s For fans of bestselling WWII fiction comes a powerful novel from Lynn Austin about three women whose lives are instantly changed when the Nazis invade the neutral Netherlands, forcing each into a complicated dance of choice and consequence. Lena is a wife and mother who farms alongside her husband in the tranquil countryside. Her faith has always been her compass, but can she remain steadfast when the questions grow increasingly complex and the answers could mean the difference between life and death? Lena's daughter Ans has recently moved to the bustling city of Leiden, filled with romantic notions of a new job and a young Dutch police officer. But when she is drawn into Resistance work, her idealism collides with the dangerous reality that comes with fighting the enemy. Miriam is a young Jewish violinist who immigrated for the safety she thought Holland would offer. She finds love in her new country, but as her family settles in Leiden, the events that follow will test them in ways she could never have imagined. The Nazi invasion propels these women onto paths that cross in unexpected, sometimes-heartbreaking ways. Yet the story that unfolds illuminates the surprising endurance of the human spirit and the power of faith and love to carry us through.

30 review for Chasing Shadows

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Pieter and Lena de Vries live in the Netherlands, they own a farm and happily work together. The couple have been blessed with three children, Ans, Wim and Maaike, the children have been raised to believe in the lord and follow their parent’s faith. Holland's a neutral country, when the German’s invade Poland and the de Vries family are very worried. Ans finds life on the farm boring, she’s tired of going to church and she wants to move to Leiden. Herman Huizenga needs a companion for his wife E Pieter and Lena de Vries live in the Netherlands, they own a farm and happily work together. The couple have been blessed with three children, Ans, Wim and Maaike, the children have been raised to believe in the lord and follow their parent’s faith. Holland's a neutral country, when the German’s invade Poland and the de Vries family are very worried. Ans finds life on the farm boring, she’s tired of going to church and she wants to move to Leiden. Herman Huizenga needs a companion for his wife Eloise, she suffers from a nervous condition, the threat of war has increased her anxiety and Ans keeps her company during the day. Ans meets Erik Brouwer, he’s a police officer in Leiden, he’s dedicated to his job and they fall in love. Her feelings towards the German's are very different to Erik’s, can she trust him and is he really a collaborator? Miriam Jacobs lives in Cologne Germany, she’s a talented Jewish violinist, when it becomes unsafe to stay in their homeland she and her father escape to Holland. Here she meets Avraham Leopold, they fall in love, marry and start a family. The Nazi’s start targeting Jewish people, just like they did in Germany, they can't escape because Hollands surrounded and the Leopold family need to go into hiding. The Netherlands endured five long years of German occupation, Holland was cut off from the rest of the world and what happened during this time was truly horrific. Chasing Shadows story recounts Lena, Ans and Miriam’s wartime experiences, strong, brave and extremely courageous women. Selfless, they protected the people they loved, helped others and their faith kept them going during the darkest of times. I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review, Lynn Austin has done it again, outstanding writing and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    Every time I open a Lynn Austin book I think to myself she couldn't possibly top her last book . Somehow she does it every single time! Meticulously researched, I know the author put a lot of time into this book. Like pouring her heart and soul into it. It's just that outstanding! This book features a lot of characters and they are part of the Dutch Resistance. The book takes place in the Netherlands during WW11. We see the Nazi's invading neutral Netherlands and the choices the people there must Every time I open a Lynn Austin book I think to myself she couldn't possibly top her last book . Somehow she does it every single time! Meticulously researched, I know the author put a lot of time into this book. Like pouring her heart and soul into it. It's just that outstanding! This book features a lot of characters and they are part of the Dutch Resistance. The book takes place in the Netherlands during WW11. We see the Nazi's invading neutral Netherlands and the choices the people there must make in their daily lives for their safety and the consequences they face for these choices. Heartbreaking and realistic but we feel a sense of rebound as the human spirit can endure with faith,hope and love. Excellent!!!!! Pub Date 08 Jun 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    The Netherlands 1939-1945 Neutral Netherlands is considered a safe place to be. Until a Nazi invasion occurs. The characters in Chasing Shadows show how war impacts people differently. The main characters are four females: Lena, a farmer's wife; Lena's daughter Ans that wants to escape small town life; Miriam, a Jewish refugee and Eloise, suffering from depression following WWI. Each of their stories intertwines and shows resilience. It was the smallest details that could make all the difference, e The Netherlands 1939-1945 Neutral Netherlands is considered a safe place to be. Until a Nazi invasion occurs. The characters in Chasing Shadows show how war impacts people differently. The main characters are four females: Lena, a farmer's wife; Lena's daughter Ans that wants to escape small town life; Miriam, a Jewish refugee and Eloise, suffering from depression following WWI. Each of their stories intertwines and shows resilience. It was the smallest details that could make all the difference, either in a positive or negative way. For example, Miriam's talent as a violinist had positive impacts a number of times, both for her and for others. Beautifully written novel showing the love of Christ and humanity.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    Lynn Austin's obvious passion for the Netherlands and her resplendent ease at the research and excavation of the all-too-human stories set against the backdrop of WWII, make her the perfect voice to wrap around the similar yet very different experiences of three dimensional, humane, compassionate and romantic women who must rise to challenges of love and sacrifice they never could have imagined. This is Austin in her comfort zone: focusing on the triumphs and travails of generations eager to pas Lynn Austin's obvious passion for the Netherlands and her resplendent ease at the research and excavation of the all-too-human stories set against the backdrop of WWII, make her the perfect voice to wrap around the similar yet very different experiences of three dimensional, humane, compassionate and romantic women who must rise to challenges of love and sacrifice they never could have imagined. This is Austin in her comfort zone: focusing on the triumphs and travails of generations eager to pass on their wisdom and relinquish the mistakes of the past but finding redemption in the promise of stepping into the unknown. This is vintage Lynn Austin and a wonderful addition to the canon of WWII fiction that compels and lures the reader with vignettes of everyday heroism. At times romantic and heart-twisting, it is a treatise on friendship, music, faith and longing. No one in the world excels at Inspirational Fiction like Austin does . It makes me downright GIDDY that this book exists.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    There are not enough adequate words to describe what a wonderful book this was to read. While I normally tend to write rather long reviews, I will leave you to discover and experience this book for yourself. I assure you - it will be well worth your time. I have been surprisingly obsessed with WWII fiction this year, and each book I read seems to surpass the quality of the last. Lynn Austin has written a real treasure of a book against a haunting backdrop of war. There were moments of deep grief There are not enough adequate words to describe what a wonderful book this was to read. While I normally tend to write rather long reviews, I will leave you to discover and experience this book for yourself. I assure you - it will be well worth your time. I have been surprisingly obsessed with WWII fiction this year, and each book I read seems to surpass the quality of the last. Lynn Austin has written a real treasure of a book against a haunting backdrop of war. There were moments of deep grief, pain, and tears, and times when I needed to put it down for a few moments before continuing. I hope and pray this type of history never repeats itself, but yet thankful for the brave men and women who fought against tyranny and evil when faced with it. 5 stars were never more well deserved than for a book such as this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    With over 3 million copies of The Hiding Place in circulation, chances are you've read or heard of Corrie Ten Boom and the way her family served the Dutch Resistance at great personal cost. I had Corrie's story in mind when I decided to read Lynn Austin's newest novel. Chasing Shadows is set in the Netherlands (1939-1945) and is told from the perspective of three fictional women: Miriam Jacobs, Lena de Vries, and Lena's daughter Ans. I'm keen on World War II books and movies because they often t With over 3 million copies of The Hiding Place in circulation, chances are you've read or heard of Corrie Ten Boom and the way her family served the Dutch Resistance at great personal cost. I had Corrie's story in mind when I decided to read Lynn Austin's newest novel. Chasing Shadows is set in the Netherlands (1939-1945) and is told from the perspective of three fictional women: Miriam Jacobs, Lena de Vries, and Lena's daughter Ans. I'm keen on World War II books and movies because they often tell of people facing moral dilemmas, acting with extraordinary bravery, or trusting in God for deliverance—all three are found in Chasing Shadows. As with all her stories, Austin reached beyond my mind to touch my heart. First, in how her Christian characters demonstrate what it means to truly 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Then by penning my favorite scene in which Ans is facing an accuser and suddenly recalls sweet words her parents had taught her as a child... “I am not my own, but I belong, body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. . . . He watches over me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head . . . He also assures me of eternal life and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him." (HC 1) Chasing Shadows is a story that Austin fans won't want to miss! I received this book from the publisher through the NetGalley review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    “The only truly safe place to be is in God’s hands.” What an emotionally impactful story set in Holland during World War II. In my opinion, this is a must read, so that we do not forget the sacrifice of these precious people during a horrible time in history. It is a story of triumph during adversity, of clinging to God when there is no other hope. “Let your fear drive you into the arms of God.” It is a story of courage and how God can show mercy and draw you closer to Him. “When faced with a dil “The only truly safe place to be is in God’s hands.” What an emotionally impactful story set in Holland during World War II. In my opinion, this is a must read, so that we do not forget the sacrifice of these precious people during a horrible time in history. It is a story of triumph during adversity, of clinging to God when there is no other hope. “Let your fear drive you into the arms of God.” It is a story of courage and how God can show mercy and draw you closer to Him. “When faced with a dilemma, we can ask, What is the best way to show our love for God and for our neighbor.” We can even forgive if it is required. It is a story showing how we can build on our foundational faith and be reminded of scripture and the catechism when we need it. “Keep your eyes on the Cross and the Resurrection. When we remember how much Christ sacrificed for us, we will know we can trust Him with anything.” An excellent book by one of my favorite authors. Do not miss this one! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Fear the of the Lord is to hate evil. And Romans says we are to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. "Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? " Each of us must decide how we will respond when the world is slowly being swallowed up by evil. I enjoy reading World War 2 historical fiction and this being one of 3 families faith being tested. The setting is Netherlands and the Nazi's take over of a peaceful nation. The families are from d Fear the of the Lord is to hate evil. And Romans says we are to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. "Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? " Each of us must decide how we will respond when the world is slowly being swallowed up by evil. I enjoy reading World War 2 historical fiction and this being one of 3 families faith being tested. The setting is Netherlands and the Nazi's take over of a peaceful nation. The families are from different backgrounds which contrast but in the middle of a faith being tested, they come together in love and sacrifice. Ans a young woman who lives on her family farm. Wanting to experience the city life of Leiden where she comes to the employment of a Professor and his wife Eloise. The occupation is just beginning and the Professor brings home a Jewish father and his daughter Miriam. They all become good friends and when things become difficult they must either decide to weather the storm. Mind their own business. Adjust to Nazi rule. Or if they want to get ahead, they could collaborate with them and join the Nazi party and usher in the new Reich. Or they can refuse to surrender and fight for their freedoms and way of life. A life to live out a faith in God. The character development of these families kept me at the edge of my seat, pages turning and at times sobbing and cheering for their faith. A faith that clung to what is good and the knowledge of who God is. It also brought so many things home. The current times we are in. How our faith is challenged. Calling good evil and evil good. Turning against each other and demonizing those who think differently. Their story is thoughtful of the choices made in faith. Because faith is not for the weak, it takes a trust in who God is. Because faith takes courage, we must understand evil and take refuge in his word. Ans, Miriam and Eloise each clung to a faith that God was good among the evil that surrounded them. Great story of faith and courage. A special thank you to Tyndale House Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    I've read a good deal of WWII fiction. Chasing Shadows has made it to the top of the list for me. Austin has written characters that the reader can't help but care deeply for them. I've read a good deal of WWII fiction. Chasing Shadows has made it to the top of the list for me. Austin has written characters that the reader can't help but care deeply for them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I still remember the first Lynn Austin book I ever read, primarily because I reread it recently and it still resonated with me. So when a Lynn Austin book becomes available I have to read it, well, most of the time. There are a few of her books I still haven't delved into, but that's a story for another day. Today's review is on Chasing Shadows, a World War II era book that takes place in the Netherlands. While there are some books about World War II that deal with the battles and their aftermat I still remember the first Lynn Austin book I ever read, primarily because I reread it recently and it still resonated with me. So when a Lynn Austin book becomes available I have to read it, well, most of the time. There are a few of her books I still haven't delved into, but that's a story for another day. Today's review is on Chasing Shadows, a World War II era book that takes place in the Netherlands. While there are some books about World War II that deal with the battles and their aftermath, this one deals with the lives of people who are subject to the whims and impulses of a conquering government. Imperialism and domination were the keystones of the two major Axis players of the war. The German National Socialists were also seeking racial purity and elimination of a race of people they deemed evil and corrupting. While many people did not hold with the government's ideologies and did what they could to protect the Jews, they were still subject to the rules and laws of those people in power. Some people put on their courageousness and did what they could to help these marginalized citizens. Chasing Shadows is a book about the bravery of ordinary people who disagreed with those in power, especially those who let their power go to their heads. The plot is dark with the clouds of evil hovering over the daily lives of the characters, and it deals with not only the history of the era, but also the fallout of the war on individual lives. There are two intersecting stories that were common to the times. On the one hand, there are the lives of farmers--ordinary citizens, as it were--and their families who have their food confiscated by the soldiers, but they also provide a safe haven and what little food they can for the Jews who would otherwise be sent to the camps. On the other hand, there are the families of the Jews themselves who live in great fear every moment of the day. Lynn has focused on one farmer's family and one Jewish family in this book and these narratives are based on real people and real events. I've never read a book of the World War II era that showcased the daily life of people and their hardships. I do enjoy reading WWII era books because my father served, two of his brothers served, and several of my uncles on my mother's side of the family also served. It is not as though I was unaware of the events, but to read it in a novelization where the emotions and the thoughts of the characters are displayed, the true meaning of the events drives home. This is a five star book that will last in the reader's mind for a long time after the last pages are read. Tyndale House and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Another fabulous book by one of my favorite authors! Story was well written and researched. Characters will make you fall in love with them and yes they will also break your heart many times over as you go through their journey with them. I loved this story because it teaches and reminds of God's love even through difficulties. I liked Lena's papa. He was so strong and brave. And so full of wisdom. His words of comfort. God is there to lean on even after he's gone from this world Lena. You must lea Another fabulous book by one of my favorite authors! Story was well written and researched. Characters will make you fall in love with them and yes they will also break your heart many times over as you go through their journey with them. I loved this story because it teaches and reminds of God's love even through difficulties. I liked Lena's papa. He was so strong and brave. And so full of wisdom. His words of comfort. God is there to lean on even after he's gone from this world Lena. You must learn to lean on Him. I can pray with you but you mustn't lean on me but lean on the Lord. This story offers hope. Hope through the evil times that God would eventually redeem His people. This book will keep your interest. Ms. Austin's novels are always a treat to read and she never disappoints. I look forward to her next adventure. I highly recommend! My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    What an emotional read! Austin takes her readers into the lives of three Dutch women during World War II and delivers a memorable story full of heartache and hope. I feel like my eyes were opened as I embraced Lena, Ans and Miriam and lived their stories along side them. I mean, I thought I knew about the Holocaust and the resistance movement but Austin's stirring storytelling turned those facts into deeply emotional impressions. I was reeling by the end. Burst into gut-wrenching sobs of release What an emotional read! Austin takes her readers into the lives of three Dutch women during World War II and delivers a memorable story full of heartache and hope. I feel like my eyes were opened as I embraced Lena, Ans and Miriam and lived their stories along side them. I mean, I thought I knew about the Holocaust and the resistance movement but Austin's stirring storytelling turned those facts into deeply emotional impressions. I was reeling by the end. Burst into gut-wrenching sobs of release -- sad, happy, hurting, hopeful tears to match my jumbled emotions. There are incredibly moving inspirational threads woven throughout this story and i appreciate that the author includes both Christian and Jewish faith arcs. Lena, in her forties, a farm wife and mother, has always relied on her pastor father for spiritual guidance. Her daughter, Ans, rebels against her parents' religion as she makes a new life in the city. And Miriam has never given her Jewish roots much thought other than on the occasional holiday. Over the course of the war, each woman learns to derive comfort and courage from a renewed faith in God. I'm struggling to find the right words to describe the impact Chasing Shadows had on me. (Incredible title, by the way, which aptly fits the novel.) I spotted so many parallels to our tumultuous 21st century times. Particularly in the way some people need a scapegoat to blame when things get tough. And feel the need to lash out at anyone with different ideas, politics or cultural backgrounds. It seems like humanity is destined to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Which is why I think books like this one are so important to read. I listened to the audible edtion and was completely transfixed by Stina Nielsen's narration. I hung on her every word as she guided me through the intricacies of war torn Holland. She brought vibrancy and colour to Austin's incredible storytelling.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is an excellent WWII-era historical fiction novel that takes place in the Netherlands. This is a stunning tapestry of a collection of ordinary citizens and how they adapt and respond to adversity and exhibit perseverance during the war. This book is such an impressive and beautiful narrative of what the people of the Netherlands experienced in the face of fear, change, tests of faith, and how each responded in their own way to the invasion of the Nazis into their la Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is an excellent WWII-era historical fiction novel that takes place in the Netherlands. This is a stunning tapestry of a collection of ordinary citizens and how they adapt and respond to adversity and exhibit perseverance during the war. This book is such an impressive and beautiful narrative of what the people of the Netherlands experienced in the face of fear, change, tests of faith, and how each responded in their own way to the invasion of the Nazis into their land, forever changing everything and everyone. I was drawn in immediately by the wonderful way in which Ms. Austin creates and describes her cast of characters. I know that these people and events were inspired by real people and happenings, but she really was able to portray how “ordinary” people lived in response to the fear, changes, risks, and often mortal danger in the face of oppression, anger, imprisonments, silence, and attempts at domination. The cast of characters, their pasts, their fears, hopes, dreams, goals, and actions were richly portrayed to the point that my heart raced and tears formed at many pivotal points during the book. The development of the women and families that intersected during this story was amazing. The strength of Lena, Ans, Miriam, and the rest of the cast during these horrific times have forever placed imprints on my heart. To see what these innocent people went through from yet another environment and aspect is extremely important. This is a novel about overcoming adversity, faith in oneself and in a greater power, and the sacrifices that each person made in their own way to help one another survive atrocities will always resonate with any generation. I am forever touched and humbled by reading all that these women (and men) loved, lost, and eventually gained during the war. I will never be able to read enough examples people from all walks of life went through that help remind me and lend a voice of what my family and many other of Jewish faith (amongst others of course) experienced at the hands of such evils during WWII. I am blessed to have been able to read this story. This is what historical fiction should be. 5/5 stars Thank you EW and Tyndale House Publishers for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Instagram, and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 6/8/21.

  14. 5 out of 5

    LisLovesReading E.Espinoza

    Chasing Shadows, by Lynn Austin, is a remarkable work of historical fiction. Set in the Netherlands during WWII, this powerful novel is engrossing and thoroughly moving as it tells the story of three women linked together through love and war. With unflinching skill, Ms. Austin leads the reader on an intense journey through horrific events that test the resiliency of the human heart and the human will to fight for significance and survival. Yet, this journey through and beyond tragedy and despai Chasing Shadows, by Lynn Austin, is a remarkable work of historical fiction. Set in the Netherlands during WWII, this powerful novel is engrossing and thoroughly moving as it tells the story of three women linked together through love and war. With unflinching skill, Ms. Austin leads the reader on an intense journey through horrific events that test the resiliency of the human heart and the human will to fight for significance and survival. Yet, this journey through and beyond tragedy and despair is strengthened and uplifted by honest moments of grace and gentle reminders that hope, healing, and restoration are ultimately made possible through God’s love and mercy. Under the tyranny of an evil regime, the uncertainty of daily life in the Netherlands during WWII becomes unfathomable, especially for the persecuted Jewish people and those committed to helping them. It is within this setting that the characters come alive to the reader. These well-developed characters are authentic, vulnerable, and captivating. Their questions, their insecurities, their fears, their needs, and their desires are wholly believable, gut-wrenching, and inspiring. As they face unimaginable losses and uncertainties, they struggle with their faith and God’s specific purposes for their lives. Yet through it all, they demonstrate determination, perseverance, and courage as they bravely endeavor to help each other and save others during many dangerous situations brought on by the cruelties of war, racism, and selfish ambition. The opportunities, the choices, and the trials that the characters endure are intricately developed, and from them there unfolds a story that is truly surprising, enriching, and profoundly memorable.    Ms. Austin is an incredibly gifted author with a real talent for meaningful storytelling. In Chasing Shadows, she offers the reader a heartfelt and utterly touching story of loss, love, faith, and family. This is a novel that courageously explores humanity’s capacity for love and hate, hope and despair, self-sacrifice and cruelty, perseverance and struggle, and faithfulness and uncertainty. Within this book, the well-researched details and descriptions ensure that every moment spent reading this story is a thoughtful, immersive experience. From the gripping plot, to the extraordinary characters, to the compelling themes, this novel easily held my attention page after page. Chasing Shadows is a book I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys outstanding historical fiction.   *I was given a copy of this book by the publisher and NetGalley. A review was not required. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joleen

    "Oh God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home." The Netherlands 1939-1945: WWII The story is told from the perspective of: Miriam Jacobs: A Jewish woman (and violinist) who escaped Germany early on with her abba, only to be in hiding for years Lena de Vries: Farmer's wife who took in Jews, fearing for her husband who left to fight with the resistance, and watched in horror as her teen son was carried off by Nazi's. Ans De Vries: Le "Oh God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, Our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home." The Netherlands 1939-1945: WWII The story is told from the perspective of: Miriam Jacobs: A Jewish woman (and violinist) who escaped Germany early on with her abba, only to be in hiding for years Lena de Vries: Farmer's wife who took in Jews, fearing for her husband who left to fight with the resistance, and watched in horror as her teen son was carried off by Nazi's. Ans De Vries: Lena's daughter. Rebellious teen. Left the farm for a bigger city, eventually played a critical part in the underground and resistance "She used to believe that the enemy of faith was doubt, but she’d learned that faith’s destroyer was fear. “Let your fear drive you into the arms of God,” her father had said." These words were virtually the theme throughout. Every character had the right to fear, and sometimes did because of the horrors of this war, the deaths in their families, and separation from loved ones to stay alive. But God showed, as usual, how He could be trusted, and how He could banish fear. Chasing Shadows chronicled years of hiding people in homes, years of being hid, some to be found out, some narrowly escaping as they were transferred to another safe house. The book screened very little of the anxiety and terror the families endured. I appreciated that it wasn’t as brutal as other accounts I’ve read. The "shadow people" (note title) endured much while escaping and hiding, waiting for the war to be over, including not being able to see the sun for years. Very good book, although it seemed different from many of Ms. Austin's earlier books. I couldn’t pinpoint it, the writing just didn’t sound like her. I both read this at night, and listened to it during the day. I was happily not disappointed by the narrator. She did a great job. *************************** Other characters were: Pieter, Lena's husband Wim and Maiike, Lena and Pieter’s teen son and young daughter Avi, Miriam's husband, met in Westerbork, a refugee camp Bep, aka Elisheva, Lena and Pieter’s adopted daughter (the daughter Avi and Miriam had to give up to save her) Eloise and Professor Huizenga, lovely people who took in many Jews Onderduikers, ordinary husbands and fathers who’d been forced to “dive under” to avoid being sent to German slave-labor camps, also hidden by generous souls.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    A riveting adventure that focuses on the strength, bravery & compassion of ordinary people. I especially enjoyed this story as I thought of the real-life heroes who worked throughout the Netherlands during WWII. And that ending!!! A worthwhile, uplifting page-turner!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Oh my! I’m totally without adequate words to describe this jaw dropping, gut wrenching, hope filled masterpiece. I can’t imagine the research involved and the tears shed by the author as I can feel she poured her heart and soul into this novel. Yes it is dark and hard to read at times like it was when I went to the Holocaust museum but so worth the effort and sobs to find the hope and faith contained within. The characters are so worth investing into as they are alive and breathing souls that yo Oh my! I’m totally without adequate words to describe this jaw dropping, gut wrenching, hope filled masterpiece. I can’t imagine the research involved and the tears shed by the author as I can feel she poured her heart and soul into this novel. Yes it is dark and hard to read at times like it was when I went to the Holocaust museum but so worth the effort and sobs to find the hope and faith contained within. The characters are so worth investing into as they are alive and breathing souls that you wish to help. I pray if ever faced with choices like these that I could be so brave and stand on my faith and the word of God no matter the consequences. The pacing and eloquent words are superior and I wish I could give this 10 glowing stars. May all pick this up and read it and go forth remembering...lest we forget. My review doesn’t begin to do this justice so I will end with please make this a priority read this summer. I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kailey

    This is such a wonderful book! Lynn Austin wrote such an amazing story in this one! She didn’t shy away from the gritty parts, but wrote them with grace. This book left me evaluating my faith and if I would have been able to do what these ladies had to do. This one is definitely a keeper! I would highly recommend this book for historical fiction fans! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Tero

    It has been a few years since I’ve read Lynn Austin, but I know she’s good for a solid, well-researched story. This one did not at all disappoint. The characters were so good! You felt them being torn in different directions as Germany overtook the Netherlands. Their fear and struggles were palpable and I was immersed in how real the different perspectives were during WWII. I may have cried for several parts. It was realistic, heart-wrenching, and oh so good. The spiritual content was amazing. Les It has been a few years since I’ve read Lynn Austin, but I know she’s good for a solid, well-researched story. This one did not at all disappoint. The characters were so good! You felt them being torn in different directions as Germany overtook the Netherlands. Their fear and struggles were palpable and I was immersed in how real the different perspectives were during WWII. I may have cried for several parts. It was realistic, heart-wrenching, and oh so good. The spiritual content was amazing. Lessons of following God in hard times, letting go and giving it to God, and trusting God were the heartbeat of this story. There was romance, but it was part of the character’s normal life and not brought out with emotional passions. Occasionally, particularly in the beginning, the story seemed to be written in paraphrase style as there was so many details to the story and I feel she was limited on word count. I would have liked more depth to some parts, but I also realize this is my personal writing style preference. I highly recommend this for someone who loves WWII, the Resistance, and more serious stories. *I received this book from the publisher and happily provided my honest review*

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    An inspiring, compelling read about the brave people who were involved in the Dutch Resistance during WWII. These everyday, ordinary type men and women--farmers, teachers, housewives, students--do extraordinary things, risking their lives to help save others, many motivated by their faith. The focus is on three women--including one Jewish refugee--and their difficult journey through the war. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God...the An inspiring, compelling read about the brave people who were involved in the Dutch Resistance during WWII. These everyday, ordinary type men and women--farmers, teachers, housewives, students--do extraordinary things, risking their lives to help save others, many motivated by their faith. The focus is on three women--including one Jewish refugee--and their difficult journey through the war. “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God...the God who would ask me to risk my life is the same God who gave His own life for us. Because He loves us.” The author does a great job drawing the reader into the lives of the main characters and walking through the valley of shadows with them. I grew to care deeply for all of them, and had to stop reading a few times dreading what might happen next. I was challenged to think about my own faith and what I would do if put in the same circumstances. This story wasn't an easy read, but it was well done from a Christian perspective, with truth and hope shining in the darkness. The story is told in retrospect, then finishes with a heart tugging, satisfying wrap up. Have the tissues ready. Fans of Corrie ten Boom, Kristy Cambron, Melanie Dobson and Liz Tolsma's WWII stories will love this one. (An e-book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    Wearing their faith and living it, these valiant people of the Netherlands gave it all for others during World War II. We meet some of these people and follow them as the darkness envelopes and doesn't want to let go. Those who have already fled their own country to flee the hate of a people, and now are on the run again. Through the words of this author we meet all kinds of people, those that will do anything to save their own skin, and other that selflessly give the ultimate for others. This is a Wearing their faith and living it, these valiant people of the Netherlands gave it all for others during World War II. We meet some of these people and follow them as the darkness envelopes and doesn't want to let go. Those who have already fled their own country to flee the hate of a people, and now are on the run again. Through the words of this author we meet all kinds of people, those that will do anything to save their own skin, and other that selflessly give the ultimate for others. This is a fictional story, but based on facts, and the world needs to remember so that history does not repeat! I received this book through Net Galley and Tyndale House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erin Laramore

    What a beautiful story of resilience, shining one's light in the darkest places, and forgiveness. Taking place in the Netherlands during WWII, this book highlights 3 different women who had different experiences, but all chose to "be the good". I loved the varying viewpoints and seeing the ravages of war and the goodness of people through the eyes of the characters. There was a lot of gray area for one character, whose love chose "the other side", feeling as though he didn't have a choice other What a beautiful story of resilience, shining one's light in the darkest places, and forgiveness. Taking place in the Netherlands during WWII, this book highlights 3 different women who had different experiences, but all chose to "be the good". I loved the varying viewpoints and seeing the ravages of war and the goodness of people through the eyes of the characters. There was a lot of gray area for one character, whose love chose "the other side", feeling as though he didn't have a choice other than to follow the Nazis. I appreciated the detailed scenes and full depth of emotions that ran throughout this time. In addition to the historical elements of a lesser-known aspect of WWII and the superb character development, there was also a spotlight on mental health, as one character was bi-polar (though there was no such diagnosis then) and one of the women in hiding ended up in an asylum. Those conditions were all treated with grace and respect. A light was shined on the caregivers of those individuals as well, as should be done. The messages of forgiveness were strong throughout and there was a very solid faith thread as all of the characters grew in their faith throughout the book. This book had all of the elements needed for an excellent inspirational historical novel. Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-copy of this book. I was under no obligation to provide a review and the thoughts contained herein are my own.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Bridgewater

    Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a World War II delight to ponder and think about. This plot stuck with me long after I was reading and while I was reading, I kept thinking of what America is slowly walking into. With practically every World War II novel that I read, I can't stop flipping through the pages to see how the story would end. I have read so many stories in this era that I know the Nazi's were defeated in April 1945, so when the story starts with a countdown, I now that the character Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin is a World War II delight to ponder and think about. This plot stuck with me long after I was reading and while I was reading, I kept thinking of what America is slowly walking into. With practically every World War II novel that I read, I can't stop flipping through the pages to see how the story would end. I have read so many stories in this era that I know the Nazi's were defeated in April 1945, so when the story starts with a countdown, I now that the characters are coming to the end of their story. This story stuck a little closer to home because of the political lies and propaganda that is floating through America's culture. Overall, I adored this novel. I can't wait to purchase a copy and place it on my shelf with all my other World War II novels. I highly recommend this story for anyone who is marveled about the heroics of this generation OR to anyone who is frightened by the path that America is taking. I received a complimentary copy of Chasing Shadows by Lynn Austin, but the opinions stated are all my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Chasing shadows Lynn Austin I have been a fan of Lynn Austin for years. This is one of her best, a powerful story based on the accounts of people who lived a complex dance of choice and consequence through the years 1940- 1945. Lena is one of three women in the story. She is a wife and mother who farms and works alongside her husband. Faith has always been her compass but the invasion of Nazi troops brings new life and death challenges. Her “imagination partnered with fear, squeezing her heart d Chasing shadows Lynn Austin I have been a fan of Lynn Austin for years. This is one of her best, a powerful story based on the accounts of people who lived a complex dance of choice and consequence through the years 1940- 1945. Lena is one of three women in the story. She is a wife and mother who farms and works alongside her husband. Faith has always been her compass but the invasion of Nazi troops brings new life and death challenges. Her “imagination partnered with fear, squeezing her heart dry.” “She learned to face death, gripping her Savior’s hand.” Perfect description. I appreciated how Lynn Austin wrote of hiding the “shadow people.” The consequences of choosing to help, if caught could mean death. This is a wonderful historical story, but it is also inspirational. Nothing I face today compares to what so many in Europe faced during WWII. I had read little about those living in the Netherlands during this tragic time. Ans is Lena’s daughter who left the farm to move into the city of Leiden. She has ideas about romance and becomes involved in resistance work. Neither mother or daughter share the dangers they each take hold of willingly. There is a third courageous woman, Miriam, a young Jewish violinist. Hollard seems an escape and there Miriam discovers both love and tragedy. The endurance of the shadow people is awesome and filled with tragedy. The courage of those who come alongside those people is inspiring. Love and faith carry the characters through the turbulent years. Well done. I will reread! #netgalley

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shana Brock

    Chasing Shadows is a remarkable book. It’s tracing of historical events are very intriguing as well as heart wrenching. I appreciated the delicate way that Ms. Austin dealt with issues that are so somber, yet revealed the atrocities of the historical events. It was hard to read at times due to the horrendous events that took place but the author did a great job with character development and the reader really connects with all the characters as they were very believable. I love this author, high Chasing Shadows is a remarkable book. It’s tracing of historical events are very intriguing as well as heart wrenching. I appreciated the delicate way that Ms. Austin dealt with issues that are so somber, yet revealed the atrocities of the historical events. It was hard to read at times due to the horrendous events that took place but the author did a great job with character development and the reader really connects with all the characters as they were very believable. I love this author, highly recommend her books, and will definitely read more! I appreciate the opportunity to read this prior to release through NetGalley!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Whenever I read a Lynn Austin book, I know it will be a strong, faith-filled story. But this book had that little something extra that pushed it into the rare 5-star read category for me. I'm not I can pinpoint exactly what did it . . . but the combination of Len's, Ans', and Miriam's journeys in the Netherlands during WWII brought me to tears . . . of sadness, of course . . . but also tears of hope as each woman learned what it meant for her personally to trust in God even in the horrible times, Whenever I read a Lynn Austin book, I know it will be a strong, faith-filled story. But this book had that little something extra that pushed it into the rare 5-star read category for me. I'm not I can pinpoint exactly what did it . . . but the combination of Len's, Ans', and Miriam's journeys in the Netherlands during WWII brought me to tears . . . of sadness, of course . . . but also tears of hope as each woman learned what it meant for her personally to trust in God even in the horrible times, and to rely on her faith to help her overcome . . . come what may.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Suzie Waltner

    It never ceases to amaze me how far reaching the prejudice, destruction, and evil of the Nazis during World War II. In Chasing Shadows, Lynn Austin whisks readers back in time to the Netherlands as we follow three women through this dark and trying time. Grab a good stash of tissues as you follow Lena, her daughter Ans, and Miriam through dark days as they face difficulties, fears, and choice that require courage and faith. Austin does an excellent job of giving each of these characters a strong v It never ceases to amaze me how far reaching the prejudice, destruction, and evil of the Nazis during World War II. In Chasing Shadows, Lynn Austin whisks readers back in time to the Netherlands as we follow three women through this dark and trying time. Grab a good stash of tissues as you follow Lena, her daughter Ans, and Miriam through dark days as they face difficulties, fears, and choice that require courage and faith. Austin does an excellent job of giving each of these characters a strong voice, so you don’t get lost with whose story is being told or their backstories. Chasing Shadows not only touches hearts but causes readers to ponder if they would have the courage to stand in the face of the worst kind of adversity with poise and bravery. Disclosure statement: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    linda hole

    Have your tissues ready. This is a heart wrenching book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Lynn Austin's newest book, Chasing Shadows, is historical/Christian fiction at its finest! Set in the Netherlands during World war II when the Nazis invade the (neutral) Netherlands. It is the story of 3 women who must make the most difficult (unthinkable!) decisions and know they must live with those choices. A wife and mother, a daughter, and a young Jewish violinist who had sought the safety in Holland. As the war escalates and the Nazis invade Holland, these 3 women find their paths crossing Lynn Austin's newest book, Chasing Shadows, is historical/Christian fiction at its finest! Set in the Netherlands during World war II when the Nazis invade the (neutral) Netherlands. It is the story of 3 women who must make the most difficult (unthinkable!) decisions and know they must live with those choices. A wife and mother, a daughter, and a young Jewish violinist who had sought the safety in Holland. As the war escalates and the Nazis invade Holland, these 3 women find their paths crossing and their lives forever intertwined. The passage about a young Nazi soldier standing on Lena's property touched me deeply! Two enemies coming together and finding common ground. Each having empathy for the other, putting aside their hate and their fear. Sharing a story, a moment, a hug, and a prayer. This brought me to tears. This passage and the quote ~"Don't hate them" Mama said as if reading Ans mind. "They'll win if we hate them"~ This is the story of ordinary people who did extraordinary things! I was brought to tears and cheers more than once. I gasped, I held my breath, I learned things I never knew, and I was touched beyond words. Lynn is a fabulous researcher and the details she uncovers during her research really makes her books come alive! I loved this book, this story! This book is one you'll not want to miss!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    Chasing Shadows is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I need to pick up more of her books as it was another AMAZING read. It started off a little slow, but once I got about a third of the way into the book I could hardly put it down. I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there. The story had some heartbreaking moments, which is to be expected considering it is set during WWII, but it also had moments of pure joy. I loved the characters and their relationships. I felt lik Chasing Shadows is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I need to pick up more of her books as it was another AMAZING read. It started off a little slow, but once I got about a third of the way into the book I could hardly put it down. I was drawn into the story and felt like I was there. The story had some heartbreaking moments, which is to be expected considering it is set during WWII, but it also had moments of pure joy. I loved the characters and their relationships. I felt like they were real people and can only imagine the pain of making some of the choices they did. All in all, Chasing Shadows was a stellar read and I recommend it to fans of historical reads. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

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